April 16 An initial public offering by travel
booking wholesaler Sabre Corp priced at $16 per share,
an underwriter said, valuing the owner of the Travelocity
website at $3.93 billion.
The pricing came below the company's expected range of $18 to
$20 per share. It was not immediately clear how many shares
Sabre was offering. The company initially offered about 44.74
Sabre, spun off from American Airlines parent AMR Corp in
2000, was taken private by TPG Capital and Silver Lake Partners
in 2007 for about $5 billion, including debt.
If underwriters exercise their option to buy additional
shares, the stake held by TPG, Sabre's biggest shareholder, will
drop to 36 percent after the offering, from 45.2 percent, while
Silver Lake's stake will drop to 22.2 percent from 27.8 percent.
Shares of the company are expected to start trading on
Thursday on the Nasdaq under the symbol "SABR."
Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs & Co, BofA Merrill Lynch and
Deutsche Bank Securities are the lead underwriters of the
Texas-based Sabre is the largest global distribution systems
provider in North America for air bookings.
The company operates under three platforms - Travel Network,
Airline and Hospitality Solutions, and Travelocity.
Sabre's competitors include Spanish travel bookings company
Amadeus IT Holding SA and U.S private firm Travelport,
which owns the Galileo, Apollo and Worldspan GDS platforms.
Net loss attributable to Sabre narrowed to $100.49 million
in 2013 from $611.35 million, a year earlier, while revenue rose
about 2.5 percent to $3.05 billion.
The IPO comes at a time when the travel and tourism industry
is growing at a rapid rate.
The industry added $6.6 trillion to the global GDP in 2012,
according to a research report by the World Travel & Tourism
Council. Air travel and hotel spending is expected to grow at 5
percent annually from 2013 to 2017 while technology spending by
air transportation and hospitality sectors is expected to grow
to $70 billion in 2017 from $60 billion in 2013.
Net proceeds from the offering will be used to repay debt,
Sabre said in its filing.
(Reporting by Avik Das in Bangalore; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)